#InTheseTweets | Third Edition

In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We outchea, #InTheseTweets

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A horrendous surge of violence disrupted the annual Carnival season in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as armed soldiers and police officers clashed over protests about police pay and working conditions. According to the Miami Herald, government officials in Haiti decided to cancel the three days of festivities “in order to avoid the planned bloodshed” after gunfire erupted between police paired with civilian protesters and the Armed Forces of Haiti. An insufficient amount of officer pay, $200-$255 a month before taxes and the Haitian government’s inability to increase it led to the turmoil just as Carnival was getting into full swing. There were multiple reports of injury and at least one person was reported dead.

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Dear some dude named Joshua,

Be mindful of who you try to clap at on Twitter because sometimes your clap attempt can be met with a whole stadium worth of ovation. Random-ass Joshua decided to try to question the experience, work ethic and general character of Minnesota U.S. Representative, Ihan Omar. Random-ass Joshua probably thought his tweet would float in the ether of the Twitterverse and possibly be co-signed by fellow trolls. What random-ass Joshua probably was not expecting was Representative Omar to give him a receipt-based resumé of all the working-class things she had done prior to being elected to office. Random-ass Joshua got the smoke Representative Omar was blowing off (and that he called for) as a reminder that privilege is not a given to most Americans. Most of us, random-ass Joshua, are born into this society either bootless or with weathered boots that have unreliable straps. Until you have had to pull yourself up from a foundation more akin to quicksand than concrete, you should probably keep your random-ass mouth shut about the pathway of others.

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Activist and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Dr. Bernice King, had a simple yet profound message about the connectedness of love and social justice. Her tweet, “Social justice is LOVE applied to systems, policies and cultures,” eloquently speaks to the need for social equity in our daily walk. In that, we cannot truly aspire to function from a place of love if we are not diligent in ensuring that justice for all is the norm, rather than the arbitrary exception. The declaration, though common sense in its phrasing, is a persistent tension between those who lead us and those who are victimized by unjust leadership. The next time a politician touts their love of our respective communities, we should challenge them on where their ideals around social justice stand. If they cannot give us an answer suitable to the best ideals we hold for ourselves, we should call their love the lie that it is and keep it moving.

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By the time the rest of the nation was “droppin it like it’s hot”, south Louisiana rap fans had already been flooding the dance floor whenever DJs played ‘Back That Azz Up’ from Juvenile’s magnum opus, 400 Degreez. The retail album originally released in November 1998 was an extremely well-rounded offering of street anthems, club bangers, off-the-porch narratives and New Orleans flair, penned by one of the city’s (and region’s) most notable emcees. But when Mannie Fresh’s infectious bounce production and Juvenile’s accessible sing-songy flow hit the airwaves with “Back That Azz”, the era of the Cash Money takeover for “the ‘99 and the 2000” was less of a bold claim to begin the track and more of a southern hip-hop prophecy. However, a little known fact to many outside the region is Juvenile’s version is not the original iteration of “Back That Azz Up”. The first New Orleans rapper to introduce the phrasing was bounce icon, DJ Jubilee, who recorded a seven and a half minute instructional dance track with the same title in 1994. Either version can get the party jumpin’, but if you're gonna play Jubilee’s version make sure to have a towel and full bottle of water as it is a WORK OUT!

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HOORAY FOR JUSTICE! Goodbye Harvey!

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, educator, essayist and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow from Baton Rouge, La.